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O/T - Trip to Washington DC

 
Old 03-19-2010, 03:37 PM
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WallyP

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Default O/T - Trip to Washington DC

I will be making a three- or four-day trip to DC next weekend. If anyone has suggestions for a reasonable motel/hotel near a Metro station, it would be appreciated.

My wife, thirteen-year-old grandson and I will probably hit the Smithsonian museums, and a few other touristy things, and any suggestions for things that I might forget would also be appreciated.

So would suggestions for anything between Acworth (just north of Atlanta) and Washington that we shouldn't miss.

PM is OK, or email - wplumley at bellsouth.net

Thanks!
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Old 03-19-2010, 03:40 PM
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Old 03-19-2010, 04:18 PM
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aj986s
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I would suggest looking for hotels near the Verizon Center. That is a wonderfully vibrant part of town, with great restaurants, Chinatown, etc. that can be fun anytime of the day or nite. Metro has a couple of stops along the 7th St. corridor there, which will be easy access to the National Mall, museums, etc. I don't have any specific to name, but the Hotel Monaco is supposed to be very nice.

There's couple of hotels somewhat closer to the Mall & museums (L'Enfant Plaza Hotel, Holiday Inn, and maybe a couple more). But the nite life on the south side of the Mall will be disappointing.

For Metro, look into getting a multi-day or 1-week pass; might be cheaper than many individual trips. Lots of good info online about DC's Metro at www.wmata.com.

For sightseeing, also look into the various TourBus operations in DC. Pay for the day, and you can hop on & off at various stops as you like. There's a double-decker buses, old Trolley car buses, and even the Ducks (amphibious which will even cross the Potomac River).

Lot of buzz about the SpyMuseum; many like it, many don't. Its privately operated, so tickets cost $$, whereas all the Smithsonian's are free. If possible, consider catching one of the Imax movies at the Air & Space museum. Haven't eaten there myself, but told the food service at the somewhat new American Indian Museum is very nice. Also new is the US Capital Visitor's Center. Arlington Cemetery is a moving experience if you have time (many TourBus stop there).

Unfortunately, the winter and recent storms have been tough on DC, and still lots of broken trees/limbs, and debris on Potomac banks from flooding. Cherry blossoms are budding, but supposedly won't be in bloom until end of March.

If you're driving from Atlanta, the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive can be beautiful drives.
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Old 03-19-2010, 04:57 PM
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I used to eat at the American Indian Museum (next to the Air + Space Museum) or the underground Falls Cafe in the Museum of Modern Art across the way from the Air and Space. And I mis-time my lunches so I don't have to fight the staff/tourists for trays and tables.

Never ridden in a Duck before but maybe nice and relaxing for late afternoon when the feets are all tired from trekking around the Mall and the Museum.

DC Duck Tours


I got one of those plasticized (feels like plastic coated paperish) maps of DC with the metro map on the 2nd fold. Durable yet foldable and won't disintegrate when wet or folded often.
The Metro map on the inside fold lets you glance at what stops/number of stops on the line you want to take without looking too touristy.
Unfold more of the map and there's a full map of the Mall so you know where to head next.
Hope they still sell them. Mine's from quite a few year vintage.
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Old 03-19-2010, 04:59 PM
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Tom in Austin
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There's a Holiday Inn in Alexandria (Eisenhower Ave) with a Metro station just across the parking lot. Stayed there a couple of times ... you can get into DC easily and drive over to the Old Town area and similiar nearby attractions without getting on the highways.

If you try it be sure to post what you think of the outbuilding in back ... truly one of the more curious "hotel amenities" I've ever seen ;-)
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Old 03-19-2010, 05:05 PM
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For booking hotels, I'd advise using a place like travelocity or expedia. There's massive variations in the prices of hotels week to week.

The drive up I85 is nice, but there's not much to see anymore. Depending on your prostate, you should be able to make the drive straight through.
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Old 03-19-2010, 05:43 PM
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If you dogleg/detour near Charlottesville, remember that I'm a guide at Monticello, and with a little notice would be glad to show you the place.
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Old 03-19-2010, 06:15 PM
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Air/Space Museum: I marvel at the space capsules, Lunar Module. And of course them fly'n machines.
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Old 03-19-2010, 07:08 PM
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Lots of good suggestions - Thank you all!
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Old 03-19-2010, 08:13 PM
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Wally I just returned from a 10 day trip for work (5 in DC and 5 in WV), in DC I stayed on Vermont Ave at the Residence Inn (Marriott) ~ 1.5 blocks from the Metro and about a 9 block walk to the Smithsonian. The Metro ride to the Federal Triangle was 1.25 one way (two stops).
It is a really great time to go, the Cherry Blossoms should be starting soon.

Have fun !
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Old 03-19-2010, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by ew928 View Post
or the underground Falls Cafe in the Museum of Modern Art across the way from the Air and Space.

I ate there years ago, great food, nice atmosphere

Sign up online for the Capitol tour before you go.

Air & Space is awesome, apollo stuff, but also drive out to the NEW annex, it is unbelievable, click here

http://www.nasm.si.edu/webimages/hig...0979-2008h.jpg

plus an SR-71 blackbird, the big one.

Lot to see outside this time of year also.
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Old 03-19-2010, 09:18 PM
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Washington Monument.
Ticket office opens at 8:30am. Free but first come first served tickets.
Went in the morning to get ticket and got an after lunch time to go up and see DC from above.
Lucky I had a nice clear day on that visit.

The Air Space Annex is just down the road from the old 928 Frenzy Hotel in Virginia.
Had the SR71 and Space Shuttle there few years ago. Loved their machine gun and engine display from the WW1 and WW2 warbirds. And more gliders than you'd ever want to see strung high up.
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Old 03-19-2010, 11:35 PM
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Calvin, our grandson, is very interested in all things military, and in aerospace. He and I went to the Air Force Museum at Dayton a couple of years ago, so we will definitely hit the Air & Space Museum and the Annex.
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Old 03-19-2010, 11:58 PM
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If you will have a car it is well worth the trip to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. Basically this is an annex to the Air & Space Museum located out near Dulles Airport. It opened a few years back and has some amazing aircraft including a Concorde and the Enola Gay.

http://www.nasm.si.edu/visit/directi...ctions_uhc.cfm

There are a couple of Courtyard by Marriott's in town (Capital Hill) as well as Residence Inn's that are nice. If you have AAA or are Seniors, try the different discount options. Sometimes you get a better rate on the Marriott.com site without the discounts than with.
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Old 03-20-2010, 12:34 AM
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Originally Posted by WallyP View Post
Calvin, our grandson, is very interested in all things military ...
Don't forget the memorials. The last time I saw the Vietnam there was a full moon, half-risen over the Washington, down one arm and the Lincoln when you looked the other way. Unforgettable (literally, it's been >20 years.)

Arlington and the Old Guard, WWII, Korea, etc.

Google "military museums in d.c."

And remember, M.Requin from here is a docent at Monticello.
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